Tomb Raider and Mirror's Edge writer on why better working conditions will benefit everyone, including women

Pratchett: Industry in need of a shake-up

The industry is in need of a shake-up to improve working conditions and stop developers burning out, says Tomb Raider writer Rhianna Pratchett.

Speaking to Rock Paper Shotgun, Pratchett discussed the issue of sexism and women in games and the recent debates and controversies surrounding the #1reasonwhy storm on Twitter and GDC panel #1reasontobe, which she said made her realise how important it was for many people to be a visible woman in the industry.

She stated that although it was not necessarily important as much to herself or other women in the sector, it was important for those considering a career in development to see a diverse industry.

Pratchett went on to say however that it wasn’t explicitly male attitudes toward women keeping them out of game development, but that the blame could be better pinpointed at working conditions and lack of creative diversity.

She stated that the industry was in need of a shake-up, but one that benefitted everyone, not just women.

“It’s tough – although not impossible – to change an asshole, but my gut feeling is that, by and large, it isn’t necessarily male attitudes which keeping women out of games development or cause them to burnout," said Pratchett.

“Instead, it’s a combination of a poor work-life balancing conditions, a lack of awareness of the opportunities out there and dwindling creative diversity. And these are problems that have a huge impact on the industry as a whole.

“Yes, this industry’s in need of a shake-up, but one that should be designed to benefit all developers, males and females alike. We need to place stronger emphasis on improving working conditions, burnout rate and industry awareness. Ultimately, that’s what will improve the quality of the games and the lives of those who create them. And that’s what really matters.”

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